A new approach to church growth. Developed here in the Diocese of New Jersey, The Way of St. Paul is designed to grow congregations by transforming them into centers of life-changing Christian formation. As people of all ages experience the positive, powerful changes central to Christian discipleship, they become more courageous, creative and compassionate. They are equipped to take their part joyfully in God’s great mission: restoring all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. And they can quietly and confidently invite others to join in.
Church growth “dream teams.” Way of St. Paul churches recruit 6-9 members from a variety of ages and backgrounds to form “St. Paul Teams.” (Smaller congregations can field smaller teams.) These teams – which always include the clergy leader – are then given cutting-edge training to work effectively both inside and outside their congregations.
Our needs – and theirs. Teams learn about their fellow church members and study the neighborhoods around their churches. Then they design and execute projects that will meet the needs of both to grow spiritually – projects authentic to the unique personality of their churches. Their ultimate goal? Form disciples of Jesus Christ in the Episcopal Church tradition.
Growth and health. Forming new disciples and deepening the faith of current members is a great definition of growth and health for any church. St. Paul Teams deepen the faith of all involved – the team, the congregation, and those who choose to join us in what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry calls “the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement.” That means it’s impossible to fail. No time, effort or money is ever wasted in this effort!
Commitment is required. Innovating successfully requires time, care and skill. For that reason, The Way of St. Paul requires a substantial commitment by each congregation. This includes:
- A team of 6-9 people, including the clergyperson in charge, committed to learning new ways to lead and motivate the congregation (smaller churches can field smaller teams)
- A commitment to stay with the program for a minimum of 18 months
- A financial commitment of $75-$100/month (which covers only a small part of the expenses for the program) for the 18 month program. (Adjustments are available for small churches.)
For more information:
The Rev. Cn. Dr. Rob Droste, Canon for Congregational Development and Mission